Korea – Day 1 – The Mini Adventure Begins

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We decided to go on a rather impromptu trip. So rather than the usual months of planning we winged it somewhat. Leaving after a full day of work straight to the airport we started to wonder if we had bitten off more than we could chew as the flight was delayed by an hour …

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Tasty make your own BiBimBap for airplane food – Good, Underwhelming cookies -Bad, Free slippers – Unexpected.

Our travel snacks (going away from the usual Travel Biscuits [Tesco finest chocolate covered ginger biscuits]) were disappointing and we were stuck on the tarmac … was this holiday doomed from the get go.

Everything was turned around by the lovely service (free drinks whenever you wanted in economy!), tasty food and excitement as we finally realised what we had started … a mini adventure.

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After acquiring adorable travel cards we set off in search of our Air BnB based on a whimsical set of instructions (turn left at the Kebab shop, turn right at the red stairs). We found our way there.

We accidently ended up spending double the normal price for our T-Cards but they were extra cute so we didn’t mind too much. Then we had to find our AirBnB, as is usually the case the detailed instructions were surprisingly hard to follow yet obvious when you worked out the correct route.

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The door for the AirBnB is representative of its … lovingly homemade construction.

After dumping our bags it was time to explore … as soon as we had some food. Vetoing the idea of going half an hour to a night market “I will not last that long” In San suggested a local Korean BBQ place

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We might feel a bit underdressed … lets explore Itaewon!

Despite feeling very underdressed compared to everybody doled up (male and female) to the nines we wandered round Itaewon, one of the trendy parts of Seoul.

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When in Korea … you have to have Korean BBQ at least once. Unfortunately In San does not have my discipline so she only took photos of the first few steps then was too distracted eating. Weak.

 

Although a little pricey it was delicious and a good safe (and close bet) for a first night meal. Particular favorites were the marinaded beef rib: InSan – “It tastes … really … like meat” high praise indeed. Pork shoulder was also delicious. We forgot about all the side dishes you get for free so this was an expansive meal. Too much for In San who fell asleep straight away on returning to flat, leaving me to write all of this up.

Unfortunately In San doesn’t have my honed skills for photographing everything so we don’t have a complete record of tasty tasty BBQ but it was delicious. After a shaking beginning we are off to a good start.

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Brimming with bulgogi

It was not a typical Monday, I had taken a random day off and headed off to Pollen Street Social for their set lunch menu (2 courses for £32), it was definitely worth it considering there were so many extra mini courses – in particular their Bakewell tart cake. I rounded the day off by visiting the London Tower Bridge which has a glass walkway, it’s surprising how being able to see the floor is so unnerving. At the same time, James headed into work all keen for the week ahead.

The night before we had prepare the bulgogi to marinade, this is ideal to maximise flavour.

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Ingredients

  • 450g beef, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup of asian pear (puree)
  • ¼ cup onion purée
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 chopped spring onion
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • a pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • lettuce
  • peppers (sliced and uncooked)
  • rice

Method

Day one

  1. Put beef into the freezer for half an hour so that it is easier to cut finely.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl (some will require blitzing in a food processor)
  3. Add the sliced beef and mix well.
  4. Keep in the fridge overnight.

Day two

  1. Put rice into rice cooker
  2. Prepare lettuce and peppers
  3. Fry up, ideally we would bbq for the best flavour but this isn’t an option for us.
  4. Serve with ssamjang, lettuce and rice.

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